The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank (TADB) have signed a contract to yield greener pastures for the Tanzanian farmers.
According to media reports, the banks role is to issue minimal credits to farmers while the agency will be responsible for purchasing crop from farmers before supplying it to markets both locally and internationally.
Japhet Justine, TADB Managing Director said the duo agreement is meant to ensure sustainability of the food crop that will be facilitated by the market.
He alluded that over Sh3 billion worth of loans had been issued to 22 groups of farmers to modernise maize cultivation.
Despite increasing production last season, the returns attained was less than expected.
It is therefore more reason that TADB, in partnership with NFRA is in search of long term solutions that will benefit the farmers and the country at large.
“Notwithstanding the purchase of 36,000 tonnes of maize by the World Food Programme (WFP), a huge consignment of the crop is still in the farmers’ warehouses, therefore as agriculture stakeholders, it is our responsibility to ensure that they are sold,” said Justine.
He pointed out further that through agreements between NFRA and buyers of maize from abroad, TADB will find a guideline of issuing loans to farmers through Smallholder Farmers Credit Guarantee Scheme (SCGS).
“The fifth phase government under the leadership of President John Magifuli has expressed its interest in improving the lives of its people especially the less privileged including the farmers, therefore our role here is to make sure that the government’s objective is achieved,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of NFRA, Vumilia Zikankuba said talks with TADB were important for the farmers.
“NFRA is eying reduced dependency on the government in the execution of its duties, therefore we want to partner with other stakeholders such as TADB to secure funds to store crops and build markets,” she said.
She added that through the agreement entered between the two sides, the NFRA would secure a loan to purchase maize from farmers at a good price and the move would give a market assurance to farmers.